Shock and outrage
Meanwhile, grief and shock mingled with outrage in the chaotic rooms of the makeshift hospital at the Brotherhood-led protest camp.
Pools of blood congealed on the floors, as men wept over the bodies of slain relatives, and exhausted volunteer doctors rested amid blood-spattered sheets and battered equipment. Doctors at the field hospital said many of the dead suffered gunshot wounds to the head or torso.
“Tell everyone in the village he is a martyr,” one man said into a cellphone, sobbing, while waiting to take the body of his brother from a room that had been converted into a morgue.
Doctors and witnesses said the wounded began streaming in about 11 p.m. Friday, as groups of protesters on a nearby highway and outside Cairo’s al-Azhar University came under attack.
At first, most of the victims were suffering from the suffocating effects of tear gas, then later, birdshot wounds, doctors said. By 4 a.m., a flood of people with gunshot wounds had arrived, as security forces and plainclothes “thugs” clashed with pro-Morsi demonstrators on roads leading to the protest camp, witnesses and doctors said.
Many victims did not go to official hospitals because they feared arrest, doctors said.
Nine people also died in clashes in the coastal city of Alexandria, the Health Ministry said. The Muslim Brotherhood said hundreds of protesters took cover from the clashes in a mosque and were later detained by security forces.
In a statement, the Interior Ministry accused the Muslim Brotherhood of using the mosque to fire “gunshots at Egyptian soldiers and citizens.”
Mohamed Elatfy, an emergency-room doctor who practices in Britain but was visiting family in Egypt, said he hurried to help after he saw an appeal for doctors at the field hospital in Cairo while watching al-Jazeera late at night.
At the time of Morsi’s ouster, he said, he was “totally against the regime.”
“It was a failing regime,” Elatfy said. But Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, the chief of the armed forces, “is calling for a civil war,” he said. “And to be honest, I can’t understand why some Egyptians are calling for a bloodbath.” Elatfy said he was devastated by the turn that his home country had taken. “I was watching the marches yesterday, and I was in shock.”
Lara El Gibaly, Sharaf al-Hourani and Michael Birnbaum in Cairo and William Booth in Jerusalem contributed to this report.